Kristian: Defense continues to win the day at Saints Camp
Dat Defense - Today, we saw a lot of 2-minute offense, and the defense shined again, keeping Drew Brees out of the end zone. Roman Harper, I thought, had his best practice so far. In fact, the first-team unit in the first session of the team portion was 1 & out. Roman Harper picked off Drew Brees and it probably would have been a pick-six in a game. The defense continues to make more strides, and that's a positive and encouraging sign. I thought for the most part, you look at the defense as a whole, they’re just flying around, and able to get their hands on a lot of footballs. I can't wait to see what they can do Friday night against the Chiefs.
Now, just how much of the improvement at practice will translate to improvement on the field? Well, I think it gives them confidence. They clearly believe in the scheme, and what Rob Ryan is trying to sell here. I think it will translate into some success...but how much? We'll see. I don’t think you can venture a guess on that at this point, but it's encouraging. They're getting a pass rush...Roman Harper, in addition to the interception, also would have had what was a sack of Drew Brees.
It keeps you running: Today, they spent a LOT of time on the running game, trying to establish that run. And you heard Sean Payton say back when he was reinstated that he wanted to get back to running the football. And it's evident by the way they practice in team portion, typically, four or five of the first plays were running plays...and that's something that you haven't always seen from this team.
Coming up: As we inch closer and closer to the preseason game, you're going to see less and less contact. Coach Payton is getting them ready for the game, and he's going to back off of them a bit. You won't see goal line installation, the more intense portion of practice, according to Coach Payton. So that will be in next week as they prepare for the Raiders, but mostly this week we'll see installation, and a bit of special teams. Friday night, I'm looking to see who is going to be the standout player on special teams. That's where a lot of these guys have to make their mark.
Injuries: Still waiting for the update on Joe Morgan. DE Kenyon Coleman today left practice with a chest injury. Jon Vilma also rested today from practice, but for the most part, the big news is awaiting word on Joe Morgan, who is getting a 2nd opinion on his knee.